Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written a letter to chief ministers of all states for a consensus on centralised procurement of COVID-19 vaccines by the union government in view of the challenges faced by states.

Saying that vaccination is the only way to protect from future waves of COVID-19, Patnaik said no state is safe unless all the states adopt vaccination as the top-most priority and execute it on a war-footing.

“But this cannot be a battle among the states to compete against each other to procure vaccines,” the chief minister said in the letter posted by him on Twitter.

Since opening of vaccination for everyone above 18 years of age, many states have floated global tenders for procuring vaccines. “However, it is quite clear that the global vaccine manufacturers are looking forward to the Union Government for the clearances and assurances. They are unwilling to get into supply contracts with the state governments”.

Also read: Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines likely in India soon; Centre may grant indemnity

The domestic manufacturers have supply constraints and are not able to commit required supplies, the chief minister said.

“Under the above circumstances, the best option available is for the Government of India to centrally procure the vaccines and distribute it among the states so that our citizens are vaccinated at the earliest,” Patnaik said.

He also called for decentralisation of the vaccination programme, with states being given the flexibility to determine their own mechanisms to ensure universal vaccination.

“We have written to the Union Government in this regard. However, I would respectfully suggest that all the state governments should come to a consensus on this issue for early resolution of this problem. We should act fast before any third wave comes and creates further havoc,” Patnaik said to the chief ministers.

The Odisha CM said he has also spoken to some of the chief ministers and they share his view on this issue.

Also read: Can you provide second dose of Covaxin in stipulated time, Delhi HC asks AAP govt


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